A comparison of yield and quality traits of four barley varieties in three agronomic years and with autumn as well as spring sowing was done at Tolentino (Marche, Italy). The response of yield and quality traits to climatic conditions was analysed as well as the correlation between them. Nutritional quality for animal feeding was good as compared to a widely used standard. The quality traits were only weakly correlated with yield. Thus, there are good prospects for further selection for higher quality as well as increased yields. Negative effects of high temperatures on both yield and starch degradation potential increase the benefits drawn from autumn sowing in addition to the positive yield effects of longer growing seasons.
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